Tailor-Made Holiday

Costa Rica - In A Nutshell

13 days

from £3,725pp (excluding flights)

Costa Rica – In a Nutshell, is a compact holiday to Costa Rica visiting the very best of the country.  Wetlands, cloud forest, rain forest and beach are all included, at a high end level with some fantastic experiences.

  • Visit Tortuguero, renowned for its superb wildlife observed on the canals by boat
  • Experience the Costa Rica cloud forest at El Silencio Lodge for great birding 
  • Travel to Arenal to marvel at the imposing volcano with opportunity for zip wiring
  • Stay at the exquisite Kura Design Villas perched in the hills above the dramatic South Pacific Coast for a jungle and beach adventure

Begin your journey in San Jose and before departing for some excellent wildlife viewing in the wetland area of Tortuguero. This area of the Caribbean coast is a network of waterways home to an incredible number of all species of wildlife. In season, you can see the Atlantic Green Turtles coming ashore to nest.

Continue your holiday to Costa Rica and visit the cloud forest in Bajos del Toro. Substantially fewer numbers visit this area, but the birdlife is fantastic, and there are wonderful walks to waterfalls and self-guided trails to explore.

No visit to Costa Rica is complete without some adrenaline fuelled adventures.  From Arenal, zip lines, sky walks, river safaris and many more active excursions are available.  Stay at Arenal Nayara, a wonderful property with superb views of Arenal Volcano. Adults only, Nayara provides a bit of bolt hole from what is a busy activity centre. 

Finally, taking a domestic flight from San Jose to Quepos on the central pacific coast, transfer south to Uvita and the incredible Kura Design villas. Built into the hills above the beach, surrounded by rainforest, its sweeping views across the Pacific reach the soul.  Surfing, horse riding, jungle treks, whale watching ~(in season) and snorkelling are all available.



For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 3725 £ 770

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to San Jose

Most visits to Costa Rica start and finish in San José, the country's capital. This bustling city lies in Costa Rica's Central Valley and has a year round, spring-like climate and a cosmopolitan feel. And while it may lack the impressive colonial architecture of other latin cities, it offers a handful of good museums, regular cultural events and excellent day trips into the surrounding countryside.

In the central highlands above San Jose, you will find the small towns of Alajuela and Heredia as well as numerous coffee plantations located on the fertile slopes of the Poas Volcano. The accommodation in this area offers a tranquil retreat that's just a short drive from San José's city centre.

You will be staying at Grano de Oro, Bed & Breakfast

Day 2

Fly to Tortuguero
Fly to Tortuguero today arriving at the lodge for lunch.

Afternoon guided boat tour through the canals lining the Atlantic coast in search of toucans, parrots, monkeys, caimans and herons.

Please note if you are flying to Tortugero there is a luggage restriction of 18kg and one small hand luggage. Arrangements can be made for any additional luggage to be left in San Jose or transferred to your next hotel.

You will be staying at Tortuga Lodge, Full board

Day 3

Tortuga Lodge Day 2
Your stay at Tortugua Lodge includes a boat tour through the park, a visit to Tortuguero Village and access to the trails around the lodge, where it is possible to see a diverse range of wildlife: monkeys, sloths, iguanas, poison arrow frogs, birds and insects, including the blue butterfly (Morpho peleides). The boat tour visits canals within the national park to discover a large variety of birds and receive detailed information on the flora and fauna of the area.

Incorporating dense rainforest, lagoons and a network of rivers and canals fed from the slopes of the Central Highlands, Tortuguero National Park is one of Costa Rica's most popular eco-tourism destinations and a complete study in rainforest, freshwater and marine biology. Home to over half of the bird and reptile species found in Costa Rica, Tortuguero is also one of the world's major nesting sites for Atlantic green turtle.

You will be staying at Tortuga Lodge, Full board

Day 4

Tortuga Lodge Day 3
After breakfast, board a boat for a two hour journey through virgin forest to a dock near Limon where you will meet your driver for a private road transfer through Braulio Carrillo National Park to Arenal.

Drive from Tortuguero to Bajos Del Toro (Road Journey)

Located in the Central Highlands, Bajos del Toro sits in the shadow of Poas Volcano. This area includes the private biological reserve Bosque de Paz which serves as a corridor between two national parks: Poas and Juan Castro Blanco. Here the temperature drops and the vegetation changes to cloud forest and is a haven for bird life. While Bajos del Toro remains well off the beaten path, it is a destination growing in popularity especially since the arrival of the up market sustainable hotel El Silencio.

You will be staying at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, Bed & Breakfast

Day 5

You will be staying at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, Bed & Breakfast

Day 6

Drive from Bajos Del Toro to Arenal (Road Journey)

Arenal is an area of stunning scenery, waterfalls, forest and lake but the undoubted star attraction is Arenal Volcano. This perfectly conical volcano is currently entering a quiet phase with little volcanic activity but this huge geological feature has a very imposing presence and offers wonderful walking trails through the tropical forest that cloaks its base. Its geothermal activity also warms the hot springs that sooth many an aching joint.

As a centre for adventure sports, Arenal offers white water rafting, zip lining, canopy walkways, horse riding, canyoning, mountain biking, windsurfing and challenging hikes, all which can be enjoyed in the middle of some outstanding scenery.

Arenal Volcano half day walk
Hike with a guide through the diverse flora and fauna to the famous lava wall where you will walk on ancient lava rocks. Learn about the spectacular birdlife, insects and creatures that make the slopes of Arenal their home.

You will be staying at Arenal Nayara, Bed & Breakfast

Day 7

Sky Tram and Sky Trek zip lines
Experience the most spectacular views of Arenal Volcano and Arenal Lake from the Sky Tram, an aerial tram tour that glides up to a wide observation deck at ’Miguel Angel’ observatory, the highest point of the Arenal Reserve.
It consists of six gondolas for up to six people each. The trip length is 1,250 metres and takes around 20 minutes one way, which includes short stops at the various stations with briefings from a naturalist guide.

Having reached the reserve’s highest point, descend by a series of eight zip-lines, ranging from 30 to 750 metres with a combined total of just under three kilometres. An exhilarating way to see the rainforest, volcano and lake.

After completing the circuit of zip lines, it's a short walk to the beginning of a series of canopy walkways - hanging bridges that provide a unique perspective on the tropical forest.

The full shared tour takes around 3 hours, following which you will be transferred back to your lodge. People over 100 kilograms weight (217 pounds) must be evaluated by the technical staff (according to his/her height and physical condition) and the staff will determine if they can take the tour.

You will be staying at Arenal Nayara, Bed & Breakfast

Day 8

Fly San Jose to Quepos

You will be staying at Kura Design Villas, Bed & Breakfast

Day 9

Shared Corcovado National Park Tour
Just 45 minutes from Kura is the Corcovado National Park, once described as 'the most biologically intentse place on earth' and has the largest area of primary forest on the pacific coast. Opportunity to see white faced, spider and howler monkeys as well as sloth, coatis, tapir and for a very lucky few, the odd puma sighting has been recorded. The forest hosts an incredible variety of birds, particularly the striking scarlett macaw, which does not fail to charm even the most reluctant of birders.

You will be staying at Kura Design Villas, Bed & Breakfast

Day 10

Day at leisure

You will be staying at Kura Design Villas, Bed & Breakfast

Day 11

Transfer to Palmar Sur airport.

Fly Palmar Sur to San Jose

You will be staying at Xandari Resort & Spa, Bed & Breakfast

Day 12

Fly San Jose to London overnight


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Xandari Resort & Spa

Xandari Resort & Spa

The Xandari Resort & Spa consists of 24 spacious villas in the grounds of a 40-acre fruit plantation overlooking Costa Rica's Central Valley....

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Arenal Nayara

Arenal Nayara

Arenal Nayara Hotel Spa & Gardens is located just outside the Arenal National Park, surrounded by tropical gardens and with beautiful views of the towering Arenal volcano....

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El Silencio Lodge & Spa

El Silencio Lodge & Spa

El Silencio Lodge & Spa enjoys a 500-acre private reserve blessed with gently flowing creeks and waterfalls....

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Grano de Oro

Grano de Oro

Grano de Oro is the most upscale hotel it the city centre providing a true oasis in the heart of the bustling capital....

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Tortuga Lodge

Tortuga Lodge

Set within 50 acres of private grounds, Tortuga Lodge is a wonderful place to stay in Tortuguero....

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Kura Design Villas

Kura Design Villas

A collection of beautifully designed luxury suites and villas incorporating cutting edge modern design and the best materials in a primitive and wild natural setting....

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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